Cell Phone Video Captures Police Shooting Of Unarmed Black Man In Miami
KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:
Once again, police have shot an unarmed black man. And there is a video about it that has gone viral. This time, it happened in North Miami, Fla. The video shows the moments before and after the shooting. Before, the man is lying on the ground with his hands up. He appears to be doing what police told him to do. After he was shot, Charles Kinsey survived.
Here's North Miami Police Chief Gary Eugene today talking about the shooting.
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GARY EUGENE: You have questions. The community has questions. We as a city and as a member of this police department and I personally have questions. I assure you we will get all the answers.
MCEVERS: We are joined now by reporter Nadege Green of our member station WLRN in Miami. Hello.
NADEGE GREEN, BYLINE: Hi.
MCEVERS: This shooting happened on Monday, but this video doesn't show everything that happened. What do we know about it so far?
GREEN: Well, Charles Kinsey is a mental health professional who works at a clinic in North Miami. And one of the patients at the clinic had wandered away and he was looking for him. In the video, the two are shown on the street. The adult patient looks like he was playing with what appears to be a toy truck. Police say they responded to a call that said someone had a gun and was threatening suicide.
But when they got there, what they found was Kinsey and his autistic patient. Police now say neither had a gun. And police officers in the video, you can hear them shouting orders at the two. Kinsey appears to comply, lying down on the street with his hands up. He says something that sounds like don't shoot.
And the autistic patient, you can see him, he just kept playing with the toy. And then what we don't see but we know this happened is that police fired at least once, hitting Kinsey in the leg. So the video shows the scene before the shooting and then just after where you can see Kinsey lying on the street this time. But it appears that his hands are behind his back as if he's handcuffed.
MCEVERS: And so do we know anything about the police officer or officers who shot Kinsey?
GREEN: We don't have any detail, really, from the police department on who the officer is, how long this person has been with the department, the person's race. They have not released any of that information.
MCEVERS: How have people in North Miami reacted to this?
GREEN: There have not been protests yet. But I have seen on social media and hearing from folks in the community that people are outraged. North Miami is a pretty diverse city. It has a pretty large black population made up mostly of Haitian-Americans and African-Americans. The police chief is Haitian-American. The mayor is Haitian-American. But this has really, like, triggered the community.
As we've seen nationwide, these conversations have been happening around law enforcement officers and how they treat black men.
MCEVERS: And Nadege, you also interviewed the mayor of North Miami today. What did he have to say about this?
GREEN: North Miami Mayor Smith Joseph said he hadn't seen the video when I spoke to him. But he did warn that videos don't always show the full story. But he also said that the city will not shy away from finding the truth. Now, the man who was shot, Charles Kinsey, he spoke to a local television reporter.
And he told him that when he asked the police officer, Sir, why did you shoot me? The yet-to-be-identified officer said, I don't know.
MCEVERS: That's Nadege Green of member station WLRN in Miami. Thank you so much.
GREEN: Thank You. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.